7 Reasons Why You Need To Update Your Website

There are over a billion websites on the internet today. People from all over the world create websites for many different reasons. The moment that website goes live is exhilarating. You do your best to keep current customers and draw in new ones. Unfortunately like with most things as time goes on it gets older and doesn’t work as well and the design isn’t as interesting as it once was.

You may be thinking will it really be worth it to change my website. Will your current customers get annoyed with the updates or will new customers really decide to sign up just because you made some updates? Those are important questions, ones we will answer here for you so you can make an educated decision on whether you should move forward with updates or not.

1. Safety

Hacking has become a serious issue over the years. Some of the largest companies in the world get hacked. There are many different ways and reasons why people hack sites. There are so many problems that come with this whether that be stealing credit card information, personal information, installing spam, and more. If you have an older website you are more vulnerable to these attacks. Your software should always be up to date. This can be a pain but every website should make sure they take precautions.

2. Speed

People don’t have as much patience as they used to so if it takes longer than 1 second for your website to load people get irritated. You have to get users on your website right away to keep them there. If your website speed is slow, there are many reasons this could be. Who you host with is a major factor as well as the number of images and videos, caching, how many daily visitors, and more. Older websites usually have problems in many of these areas that is why updating everything helps greatly with speed.

Your website code is very important and as time goes on it has to be updated to keep up with technology advances. You always want to check with your website development company about increasing your website speed as this is incredibly important for keeping visitors from bouncing.

3. Content

Your content should be completely updated as well. Everything on every page, yes even the about us page. Many older sites lack calls to action. This entices someone to read on or look at other pages. It goes hand in hand with beautiful relevant images. These calls to action items can be the simple sign up now buttons or quick witty lines of content that spark an emotion. Everything you say needs to be informative and interesting. Find a story about yourself and your team and put that on the about us page. When you talk about your products think about why your customers need and/or want this product. Then use that to fuel your content creation. You will want to update your website content regularly.

4. SEO

Like most, you probably want to rank well on Google. After all, that is how most people are going to find you. If you have an outdated website and/or haven’t updated anything in a long time, you will rank really low. It will be hard for anyone to find you. Google is constantly updating its algorithms to look for websites who make constant updates to their website. The newer the content the more relevant you are and therefore the higher you rank. Once you do make design and content updates to your website you then need to update all your tags and various other SEO data in the code. SEO is one of the most important pieces for website marketing and getting people to find you so take it seriously.

5. UI/UX

When people land on your website what do they see? If they see old images and old content it gives off an unprofessional feel. You should make them want to learn more about you and find interest in your services or products. If you haven’t touched your website in 10 years they probably won’t feel like looking around long. Remember everything you present on your website tells a story about who you are as a company. This is called your user interface (UI).

If you have old photos, they need to be updated with brand new ones. There are so many stock photo sites out there. Some of them you pay per photo and some provide photos for free. Either way, you don’t have to take them or edit them yourself.

Visitors should find it easy to navigate and find what they want. How they get from point A to point B is the user experience (UX). Many older sites didn’t take this into account and therefore tend to be a little complex to navigate. Although, on the other end they can be too simple by not providing customers with the option to do certain things that could yield you more results. Both ends of the spectrum are important and should be looked at when considering a website re-design.

6. Statistics

Do you know how many visitors you get each day? If you don’t know you are missing out on important information. You should also know what pages users spend the most time on, how they are coming to your website, which devices they are using, where they bounce off at, and more. This is so important to help you decide what changes you need to make not only on your website but also in your business itself. You can talk to your web developers too about this.

7. Responsiveness

If you search your website on your phone and images aren’t coming through and/or content goes past the edges of the phone, or in general, it just looks messy, then you don’t have a responsive website. When you decide to start the website re-design process your website development company should know to make it responsive and talk to you about doing it. This way people can view your beautiful new website on any device.

Keep in mind you don’t just update your website 1 time. You have to do it regularly. Content should be updated every week. That doesn’t mean you have to update all your main menu pages every week but if you have a blog you should add one at least weekly. You can also have a news page or updates page which has new information about products or anything else you want to say. As far as page content updates, that should be once a year. The design of your website should be updated every few years. However, updating little things here and there are also recommended.

There are many more reasons why you should update your website besides what was mentioned but this should give you an idea if you need to look into it. If you are thinking about updating your old website or are unsure if you really need to, contact the team at SDI or Sakshi Sharma at sakshi@sdi.la for a free website review.

How to Build an Online Education and Training Website

Any educational institution needs a well-organized and attractive website. Providing a website where students, parents, alumni, and faculty members can easily access information about academics and school social life with the click of a few buttons on their phones is essential.

However, simply having a website with information isn’t enough anymore. With so many options to choose from, prospective students can easily be invited or turned away by your school purely based off of the website, whether it be too much content, limited accessibility, unorganized elements, or other factors.

These obstacles for you and your school community can be eliminated with the creation of an inviting and comprehendible website. Looking to create your own school website? Check out these essential tips on how to get started!

Listen And Understand Needs

First and most importantly, you need to know who your target audience is, and what they need. Are you a school of the arts? Are you a school for people with disabilities? High school? University?

These schools cater to people of vastly different communities. It’s important that your website addresses these factors to attract the right students for the school community.

Ensure that you personally ask the other members of the community that use the website how they use it and what they’d like to see remain the same or change.

For example, a typical student at an average high school would say that they will need access to a portal for their grades, a calendar for the school year, or a teacher directory, all of which should be found on the homepage of the website.

Formulate A Plan

One of the most common mistakes when creating a website is putting too much information all at once. Yes, it’s true that “less is more” may not apply here, but so does putting massive amounts of information in a tiny text box.

To avoid this, first, revisit the list of the main groups the website should address, and take a look at how they use the website, what they want to see change and the absolute necessities that the website should address.

Next, create a sitemap. A site map is a one-page layout listing every single link of every page throughout the website in a comprehensible, readable manner. Instead of searching through multiple pages to find what you want, you can find it directly on the sitemap.

When creating a sitemap, first map out any content that already exists. Next, match any content already existing to the goals of the user. Following this, use the information gathered from the users about what they need to see changed on the website, and integrate these factors into the new design.

In addition, videos, slideshow presentations, quotes, and pictures are great ways to enhance your school website.

Web Design

It’s easy to delegate all web designing responsibilities to developers, but integrating members of the school community into the web designing process will help create a much better website and user experience. The developers should know exactly what students, staff, and parents want to see, and talking face to face will prove to be much more helpful and easier than keeping committees separate to do their own tasks.

When designing the website, use white space as a way to give the user something to focus on. High-quality photography is a must, and easily readable text with stark contrast from the background should be planned out as well.

Do not input every page into the navigation. Instead, use consistent visuals in different forms such as main navigation, a second navigation bar, footer, sidebar, and other important elements.

In short, ensure that whatever design you choose should be one that is easy to navigate to find essential information.

Development

Developing a website is a process, and you will encounter many forks in the road. Choosing one decision will lead to a different result than another, and you will need to make the choice carefully.

However, it’s important to create some ground rules before diving straight in. When you reach one of these decision making moments, referring back to these rules can prevent you from making choices that may convolute the entire project.

Ensure that your website is secure and well-built, with little to no downtime. The developers should follow coding standards, and be able to decide whether a framework or custom site is best for the needs of the school.

Following these guidelines will lead to a website that is dependable, inviting, and easily accessible for every user.

Market

One of the most important ways of marketing your school is creating a message reflecting the mission of your school. Are you a performing arts school? A religious school? Liberal arts and/or research university? Ensure that the message tailored to the mission of the school comes across on your website.

Social media profiles are excellent ways of attracting attention today. If you have a Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and/or a blog account, link these onto your website for users to see what the school environment is like.

Training

Online courses for teachers and staff on how to design their own pages or use the website are great ways to identify any problems or successes in the new design.

Great examples of college websites

The University of Maryland, University of Notre Dame, and Bucknell University all have some of the best-ranked college websites. Their websites’ unique style, readable text, inviting and representative colors, easy navigation, pictures, and other elements help bring the website to life. Take a look at these and find some inspiration!

Find Someone With Development Experience

Looking to create or redesign your school’s website? With over a decade of experience, SDI has worked with enterprises, businesses, and educational institutions to build their apps and websites.

SDI’s design and software development professionals will work to create your school’s website that is tailored to your needs within the time frame you want.

Give us a call at 408.802.2885 or email us at team@sdi.la

How A New Design And Content Helps Your Website To Rank Higher On Search Engines

Are you looking for ways to increase your website ranking? Trying to figure out how to be on top of the google search engine pages? Well, the information below is going to be your best friend. The website is the heart of any business in this digital world. The most important part of traffic is from organic searches. Google, the giant has a lot of metrics in ranking a website. Search engine optimization is a crucial factor for any business that operates online and many are unaware that design perspective and content quality has a huge impact on website ranking. An SEO friendly website with quality content intended for specific user needs will boost your website ranking. A web page doesn’t always look the same to you and me as it looks to the search engines. An SEO friendly web design means the search engines can crawl through each webpage of the website efficiently and interpret the content effectively and then interpret the same in its database. Implementation of effective SEO strategies, while you upgrade your website, will increase the change of indexation and be ranked on the first page of the search engine results. Here are the 8 tips to update your website design and content: 1. Easy Navigation A good website design means offering visitors a great user experience. Great importance has to be given in terms of navigation while designing a website. Always ensure that your visitors spend more time on your website by making it easy for them to find what they are looking for. 2. Accessible Design If your website is not completely accessible, then it affects your conversion rates and your ranking in search engines. Your website must be viewable and accessible in all browsers. If it’s not, this will force your website, users, to exit without any reason. Spending a short amount of time on your website will affect your search engine ranking. 3. Use Content That Search Engine Spiders Can Read Content is the life force of any website and it is the basic feed for any search engines. While designing a website, make sure that you structure the content well. Websites with minimal content will struggle in search engines and thus proper content planning is key for any website. 4. Design A Search Friendly URL Designing a search friendly URL means having keywords that describe the content of the page. Rather than using generic terms in the URL’s, use keywords that convey your page’s content better. Also, a neat and clean web URL is easy to remember and share with your customers. 5. Optimize For Increased Page Speed Optimizing your pages, page elements, and coding is critical for a great user experience, especially in mobile. Most search engines like Google and Bing take page loading speed into their ranking algorithm. Thus designing and optimizing the images, streamlined coding, and reducing the plugins will result in increased page load speed. 6. Use Unique Metadata Using unique keywords, page titles, and description is important for any website to rank on top of the search engines. Many times web designers will create a template for the website and leave the metadata unchanged which leads to the usage of placeholder information on several pages. 7. Take Advantage of Web designers with strategic SEO Experiences Web designing is a craft so you must be careful when you make your web design outsourcing decision. Engaging with experts like SDI who has extensive experience in developing award-winning web designs with a next-gen SEO strategic touch will help your website rank high in search engine results. 8. Social Sharing Optimization Websites with a good number of shares and likes in the social platform will also be accepted and ranked high by the search engine algorithm. Being invasive with sharing or with the social media buttons will annoy your web visitors. Place the social media icon where you feel the content attracts the users better. If you are wondering how to upgrade your website for increased search engine ranks or any other assistance, then call our design, content and SEO experts at +1.408.621.8481 or mail us at team@sdi.la or click to contact us!